BACKYARD GAMES The backyard is the front porch for development

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1 BACKYARD GAMES The backyard is the front porch for development Dave Chesler, U.S. Soccer Director of Education

2 Wall ball can be played alone or with a friend. You only need a ball and a wall. The object of the game is to strike the ball against the wall, to receive the rebound with only one touch, and to strike it back against the wall again. Continue as many times in a row as possible. VARIATIONS: Challenge yourself to receive the ball with a different body part each time Strike the ball against the wall with one foot, receive the ball with the other Use both feet

3

4 Soccer Marbles Every participant has a soccer ball. The game is usually played in pairs, but can be played with more. The first player begins by passing their ball out into the field. The next player attempts to hit the first player s ball by passing their ball. If the ball is hit, the second player scores a point. If they miss, then the first player attempts to hit the second player s ball. The player who scores the point starts the next round of the game by passing their ball out into the field. VARIATIONS: Two points are scored by hitting a moving ball Rather than passing on the ground, the first ball must be chipped, and the second ball must hit the chipped ball in midair

5 Soccer Marbles

6 Soccer Tennis For two or more players, depending on space. Similar to a traditional tennis court, set up a rectangular playing space with a net in the middle. Cones may also be used as a net if the ball lands on the cones, the point is played over. Use traditional tennis rules as far as boundaries are concerned. The serve must be made from behind the line and in a friendly manner. A point can only be earned by the serving side. If a ball cannot be returned by the receiving side, the serving side earns the point. If the serving side cannot return a ball from the opponents side, the opponent earns the serve. VARIATIONS: Ball can bounce once, each side has two touches to return the ball For advanced players, allow no bounces and one touch per side

7 Soccer Tennis

8 Goal to Goal Two or three players can play. The game is simple. Each player sets up a goal with cones, towels, shoes, etc. Each player shoots at the other player s goal. Players cannot use their hands to stop the ball. VARIATION: After shooting, the player must run around a cone before returning to goalkeeping

9 Goal to Goal

10 Soccer Golf Spread out towels, t-shirts, shoes, trash cans, etc. across an area. Each object is a target. For instance: If shooting at a towel or a t-shirt, the ball must completely stop on top of it in order to win a point. Poles or cones must be struck. A ball must pass under a picnic table. Make up your own targets. Pass the ball from a distance to hit the targets. Like in golf, count how many kicks it takes to reach the target. Try to improve each time. Lowest score wins. Play with a friend or two, or as a group. Like conventional golf, name the targets and take turns. The player who wins the round chooses the next target, and also determines the par for the round.

11 Soccer Golf

12 Horseshoes For two players (1v1), or four players (2v2). Place two shirts or cones 10 to 20 yards away depending on ability and whether balls will be passed on the ground or in the air. For 1v1, a player passes the ball to their opponent who has one touch to redirect the ball so it stops as close to the shirt as possible. The receiving player then passes the ball back to the first player who attempts to redirect the ball as close as possible to their target. The closest to the target wins the point. For 2v2, the ball is passed to a teammate who is across from you. After one team goes, the other team then takes their turn. Whichever team has their ball closest to the cone earns the point. The sequence repeats with the players now switching roles between receiver and passer. Play for a certain number of points or for time. VARIATIONS: Ball can be passed on the ground Ball can be thrown Ball can be chipped RULE: Cannot use the sole of your foot to stop the ball on the shirt

13 Horseshoes

14 Goals Galore This game is best when using a goal with a net. Scatter soccer balls around an area in front of a goal. Tie shirts, towels, etc. as targets in the corners. Strike one of the balls into the goal, aiming at the target. Quickly go to another ball and try again, but aim for an opposite corner. Count the number of times you successfully hit the targets. VARIATION: Strike a moving ball to simulate game speed If you have a goal but only one soccer ball, try to hit each post and then the cross bar from different angles. Try to hit all three in a row.

15 Goals Galore

16 1v1 to a Ball Two players (1v1). Each player has a ball. One ball is the target. The other ball is used to play. A goal is scored when the target is hit. The player with the ball can attack the target from any direction. Play for total points or for time.

17 1v1 to a Ball

18 Drag Races Two players. Stand next to each other. Race with the ball against your partner. VARIATIONS INCLUDE: Dribble from the first cone to the second cone, and then back Dribble to one cone, make a turn then dribble back (like the hook turn) Dribble to one cone forwards then drag ball backwards using the sole of the foot Create your own, such as juggle to a cone and then dribble back

19 Drag Races

20 Free Play Free Play is simply when players come together and play with small goals. VARIATIONS: First to score three goals wins Three corner kicks = one goal Last team to score when there is a tie (draw) wins the game

21 Free Play

22 ussoccer.com

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